During the current lockdown, digital dependency has grown in over 65% of the youth population of the country. States like Allahabad have set up mobile de-addiction centers and are said to have received over 20 calls in 2 weeks from parents worried about the change in the behaviors and conduct of their children who appear to be addicted to their mobiles.  

As convenient mobiles and smartphones are, it is necessary to draw boundaries to protect ourselves from psychological challenges. According to James Clear, “the Four Laws of Behavorial Change” helps deal with addiction.

The 4 steps are: 1. Hide the cue: Make it Invisible, 2. Reduce the craving: Make it Unattractive, 3. Put in obstacles: Make it Difficult and 4. Reduce wanting to do it again: Make It Unsatisfying. To make it invisible, turn off the notifications, keep your phone on silent or completely switch off your phone for a while. Reduce the craving by deleting unnecessary apps and those that are only convenient but not needful. Make the use and access to such apps difficult to get to by adding more steps to start the app like removing them from your homescreen and instead adding them to a folder that could be found only after scrolling through the Menu. You can make the use of such apps unsatisfying by reminding yourself how productive you feel so far and how much time you waste on such apps.

Regardless of whether a person uses an iPhone or Android phone, they could learn how long they have spent their time on the phone and on which apps through a new feature added on their phone setting called as “Screen Time” on iPhone and “Digital Wellness and Parental Control” on Android phones. The phone can track how long the phone has been in use, most used apps, number of notifications and number of unlocks. There are also features that will reduce notifications and pause distracting apps when requested by the user.

If you follow the above mentioned steps, it will be easier to get rid of the habit loop and limit the overuse of IT and mobile phones.

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We speak the language of Technology & Internet. We understand how the law interacts with Technology & Internet. Cyber Crime Chambers is a boutique firm specializing in internet laws and digital forensic evidence.


B.A., B.L., (Hons) IPDP., (London)
Pgd IPR., Pgd Cyber Law., Msc., (IT)
Advocate, Madras High Court

Karthikeyan, is a renowned cyber law expert, who is also the Managing Partner of Law Office of Karthikeyan, a reputed law firm based in Chennai.

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